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Walden News // Apr 14, 2015

Walden University's Competency-Based MS in Early Childhood Studies Approved by the U.S. Department of Education as a Direct Assessment Program

Walden is one of only six institutions approved by the DOE to provide direct assessment programs

Tempo Learning™

Minneapolis—April 14, 2015— Walden University announced today that it has received approval from the U.S. Department of Education to disburse Title IV financial aid to students enrolled in its new competency-based MS in Early Childhood Studies program using a direct assessment model. Walden now becomes only the sixth institution with direct assessment approval by the Department of Education, and this particular program is the nation’s first competency-based master’s program in early childhood that uses this learning modality.

“Throughout our 45-year history, Walden has prepared students to serve as leaders of positive social change around the world,” said Jonathan A. Kaplan, interim president of Walden University. “We are very pleased that the Department of Education has approved our program under the direct assessment model, particularly as it is the first such competency-based master’s program focused on early childhood development. Given our rich history in teacher education within The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership, Walden is able to provide educators with an innovative learning experience that will ultimately improve outcomes for young children.”

The MS in Early Childhood Studies program with a specialization in Administration, Management and Leadership is offered through Walden’s Tempo Learning™, a self-paced educational experience for students who want to earn their degree on their own terms. Students can progress at their own pace by applying their existing knowledge and prior experience while focusing on mastering the skills they need to meet the demands of the workforce. Unlike traditional degree programs, where time and cost are fixed, Tempo Learning gives students access to their entire degree program at once.

Using the direct assessment model, Tempo Learning includes a set of performance-based competencies and rigorous assessments designed by faculty and validated by employers—creating a direct link between education and the workplace.

To learn more about Tempo Learning and the competency-based MS in Early Childhood Studies program, visit

About Walden University

For 45 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Today, more than 47,800 students from all 50 states and more than 150 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees online at Walden. The university provides students with an engaging educational experience that connects them with expert faculty and peers around the world. Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network—a global network of more than 80 campus-based and online universities in 29 countries.

Walden offers more than 80 degree programs with more than 370 specializations and concentrations. Areas of study include health sciences, counseling, human services, management, psychology, social work, education, public health, nursing, public administration and information technology. For more information, visit Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,